Air Hogs E-Charger Dragon from Spin Master

Air Hogs E-Charger Dragon from Spin Master is aimed at children ages 8+ and is a sturdy well built plane that charges in just 30 seconds allowing it to fly up to 100 yards through the sky.   The children were keen to try it out so we headed out to an open space to see how far it could fly.

The plane is easy to fly and charges really quickly.  The charger requires 3 x AA batteries and then it’s ready to go.  Once you are ready to fly you simply unfold the charging pin on the top of the charger, push it into the charging port on the underside of the plane and hold the button on the charger in for 30 seconds.  As soon as you remove the charger you can hear the power in the plane waiting to be released into the air.

We found you do need to throw it quite well into the air and let it catch the wind but when you do get a good throw – wow!!  This thing really does fly!

It was hard to film it in action because it was sunny and it flew so fast but I managed to get a couple of short clips of the plane in flight.  The children loved it when it twisted and turned through the sky and it definitely went some distance so really do make sure you are in a good open space.

We thought the power on this plane was great and really gave it a boost to fly through the sky.  Once it lands you do need to charge it up again for the next flight but for us it was a challenge to see what flight paths we could get it to do.  When it went well, it really goes for it but it is definitely set at the correct age guidelines.  My 9yr old and husband were quite able to set this off in the air, although my 6yr old struggled but being aimed at 8+, this made sense.

Overall the Air Hogs e-charger is a great gadget toy for the over 8’s that gets them running around in the fresh air chasing after the plane as well as a lot of fun watching it zooming the sky.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Shrinkles Mini Packs – Dinosaurs, Unicorns & Puppies

Shrinkles Mini Packs come in a variety of designs and we’ve been trying out the Dinosaur World, Magical Unicorns and Playful Puppies.  Although they’ve been around for many years they aren’t something I did as a child so I was excited to do them with my children and see what they thought about them.

Inside each mini pack are two sheets of pre drawn Shrinkles, a coloured and transparent piece of Shrinkle paper, a 4 pack of coloured pencils, some stands for the finished pieces and instructions.

It was then a case of colouring in the pre printed designs in the theme for each box.  The children enjoyed this but didn’t quite understand the concept of how much they would shrink until we’d ‘baked’ our first batch.

I was a little worried when I saw the designs curling up in the oven but if you leave them a little longer, you will then see them flatten out again.  At this point I removed them from the oven and left them to cool.  The children couldn’t believe how much they had shrunk and also were impressed how they had become solid and hard, like a 2D plastic figurine.  They then put them on stands ready to play with.

Then we had a go at making our own designs using the plain pieces of Shrinkles paper.  My daughter carefully traced the outline of a front cover of a book she is reading which came out really well.  They also tried some other designs and below you can see the best of what they made,  I think they came out really well and are now sitting as trinkets on the shelves in their bedrooms.

Overall Shrinkles has been a success.  It was something new to us that the children enjoyed trying out and had fun making.  They loved watching them shrink through the glass in the oven door, which was novel and different, resulting in finished pieces that are sturdy and will last for a little play afterwards.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

i-SPY Books for Kids

i-SPY books for kids from Collins are a great way to entertain children especially when out and about, on long journeys or visiting new places. Pocket sized and packed with over sixty colour pages of things to spot along with useful facts, they are sure to keep children entertained.

With a lot of long journeys for us at this time of year I knew the children would love to try out the i-SPY On a car journey and i-SPY On a road trip books.  We will also be going on a ferry in a couple of months so I knew that the i-SPY On a ferry would be a hit with them then and keep them occupied.  They already been checking out the pages and seeing what they remember from the ferry last time and can’t wait to take it with them on our trip.

The books come with true to life photos of things to spot relevant to the theme of each book so it’s really easy to tell what you are looking for and tick it off once you’ve found it.   There’s even a points system where by each picture is worth a certain number of points which you can add up and apply online for a certificate when you reach 1000 points.  They’ll also send you a badge through the post – a nice little touch that gives that added bit of motivation to keep finding things!

My two children were excited when they caught sight of the new i-SPY books having been fans after using them several times previously and before we had even left the house they were flicking through deciding which things they really wanted to spot when we were out and about.  Just a few days later we embarked on a 260 mile round journey to visit their cousins so this was the perfect road trip to check the books out on.  One had On a car journey, the other had On a road trip and it proved great fun listening to them spotting things and helping each other out along with describing signs for me to look out for in order to help them.

The i-SPY range of books have always been popular with us and we’ve had a combination of both travel and nature themed books which always create a buzz with the children that not only encourages them to learn but they have great fun at the same time.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Turning Tears into Smiles with Elastoplast #tearsintosmiles

Kids love to play, and like most my two prefer to play outside, so as long as the weather is dry they can be found in the garden either bouncing on the trampoline, shooting some basketball goals, playing tennis, skipping, football – you name it, they play it!  Our garden shed has become home to an array of garden games and it’s great to see them play, get them outdoors and encourage any kind of active activity whenever possible.

Unfortunately though, it’s inevitable that from time to time, minor accidents will happen and the kids will come running in full of tears with scrapes, bumps, grazes and cuts to show me, hoping that I can make it all better again.  Turning tears into smiles isn’t always easy but a few simple steps can help the tears go away and the smiles appear again.

  1. Give them a big cuddle – there’s nothing more they like than to feel hugged by their parents arms wrapped around them.
  2. Check them over for damage and apply cold packs where necessary (we keep a small supply ready in the fridge)
  3. Apply antiseptic creams or Elastoplast  strips as necessary (especially some rather cool Frozen or Star Wars ones which is half way to generating a little smile on their faces!)
  4. Give them a drink and small snack to enjoy while they take 5/10 minutes to recuperate and distract them from any mild pain they may be feeling.
  5. Talk to them throughout, the sound of your voice is calming and distracting and before long, despite their little injuries, they’ll be bounding out of the back door again to play!

Outdoor play is such an important part of a child’s life and should always be encouraged.  Fortunately with my children they’d rather be out than in, but that means we have more chances of slips, trips, knocks and falls than some.  But following my tips above, means we always turn our tears into smiles within a few minutes and always remind them to be a bit more careful when running about, looking where they are going and watch when someone is throwing a ball at them!

Within the last few days we’ve already had a couple of incidents.  Poor Mister B fell over in the park grazing both knees and his elbow, but fortunately R2D2 came to the rescue and covered up the worst cut which did eventually bring a smile back to his face even though it did continue to hurt him.  Miss M managed to cut the end of her finger so we carefully wrapped a Frozen plaster around the top to protect the cut from dust and dirt.

Elastoplast are great for helping to save the day with fun designs that kids will love!

A worldwide brand that you and your whole family can rely on – we offer you modern and high-quality solutions to the demands and small inconveniences of everyday life.

This post is an entry for the BritMums #TearsintoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast. http://campaigns.elastoplast.net/plastermoments/uk

Term Roll Top Wellies for Kids

Term Roll Top Wellies for children are the toughest and sturdiest looking wellies that I have seen for a while, whilst appearing of a really high quality that looks to be exceptionally durable and lasting.  They come in a variety of colours with contrasting trim on the soles and a fleecy lined sock that is hand washable.

The bonus of the washable sock is that you can actually use this boot over two sizes.  So buy the wellie in the size that your child currently is and it will last through to the next size too.  Hence the higher price for these wellies is easily combated in the dual sizing along with the amazing quality.  Just looking across the boot and the sole you can see you are getting value for money and a seriously well made wellington boot.  On the back there is a little reflective strip which helps them appear noticeable if walking at dusk or night time.

We tried a pair in Navy blue with a dark green trim on the bottom for my 6yr old.  Although the weather has been quite warm and sunny recently, he didn’t hesitate to try them on and proceeded to keep them on all day long!  I asked him what he thought of them and the reply I got was “I love them, they are the best wellies ever!”.  Well you can’t ask for more than that can you.

They look comfortable, stylish and very sturdy.  Being a keen helper Mister B was eager to help us with the gardening and the boots were perfect for him being near the edge of a muddy flower bed.  He even sat and did his yoga in them at the end of the day (don’t ask – it’s the latest thing my kids do, sitting with their legs crossed humming away – if it keeps them quiet for a few minutes, then why not?).

I think the proof of how comfortable they are is in the fact that he kept them on all day and wants to keep wearing them. These are going to be fabulous in the cold Winter months as I know they’ll keep his feet dry and warm – perfect for jumping in all of those muddy puddles and Autumn walks through trails of leaves.

If you are on the look out for a new pair of children’s wellies (which we all seem to be regularly as their feet are constantly growing) then I’d highly recommend checking out Term wellies as so far they are one of the best pairs we’ve had!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

WIN Bob the Builder – Dig This DVD

Bob is back! With tools at the ready, the nation’s favourite builder returns with a new DVD collection of tales of teamwork and friendship “Bob the Builder – Dig This”.

Grab your tool belt and hardhat and join Bob and his team as they construct projects using a foundation of determination and working together. With his business partner Wendy, apprentice builder Leo, and a team of machines, Bob is ready to get to work in Fixham and Spring City.

This team digs into any project, hammering out solutions to problems, all while building confidence along the way. No project is too big or too small – from fixing a leaky roof to repairing a skyscraper. After all, the fun is in getting it done!

In Dig This, Team Bob are digging the foundations for a skyscraper in Spring City’s new business zone, but work has to stop when they come across some ancient Roman ruins. 

Episodes featured in this fun collection are:

  • Dig This
  • Saffi’s Treehouse
  • Out of the Woods
  • Stormy Weather
  • Bear Mountain
  • Bentley’s Bones
  • Home on the Range

BOB THE BUILDER DVD RELEASE ON SALE MONDAY 17th APRIL 2017

To win a copy of the DVD, just fill in the Gleam form below:

Bob the Builder

Sip n Sound Farmyard Animal Straws

Sip n Sound Farmyard Animal Straws from Flair are a fun new interactive range of straws for children, that along with the fun element also encourage health benefits by using a straw as opposed to a cup.  In the Farmyard Animals range there are four straws to choose from, Horse, Cow, Sheep and Pig.

Each straw is quite solid and easily slides inside the animal so can simply be removed for washing.  The animals stay put at whatever height you put them on the straw although we did find you need a sturdy cup to use them with so they don’t tip the cup over.

The children’s faces were all smiles when they saw them and they couldn’t wait to try them out, not quite knowing what was going to happen.  When they heard the animal sounds as they drank through the straws they were in fits of giggles and thought they were really funny!

The straws are great fun and the children love using them, it certainly encourages them to drink plenty of liquid everyday as they kept asking for refills so they could use the straw again.  Also drinking through straws is much better for oral health and helps prevent tooth decay.

So what did the kids think:

Mister B – “They are amazing – I love them, can I try a different one now?”

Miss M – “Brilliant, they are really funny, can we use them for dinner later please?”

As you can see the Sip n Sound animal straws have been a success with my children and they can’t wait to share them with their friends when they come round.  Being reusable and easily washable I think these will get many months of use!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Bunchems! 3D Creations Fun for Kids

Bunchems! from Spin Master are clever little colourful balls that stick together and can be built up to create 3D structures simply and easily.  Just as quick you have built one, you can also pull it apart and rebuild into something totally different.  My children have been eyeing this up over the last few months so I knew they’d be eager to try them out and have fun seeing if they were as good as they thought from the adverts!

We received a Mega Pack and Under the Sea glow in the dark pack of Bunchems! to try out.  Within these sets there are plenty of coloured pieces to start playing with a long with what I thought was a good selection and variety of accessories which can be stuck onto your creations to add personality and bring them alive.

My 6yr old who has been eager to try these for a while, got stuck straight in and was building things all by himself.  I was really impressed at how easy and quick they are to build and certainly kept both him and his 9yr old entertained all afternoon.  The circle pieces have tiny hooks on the end of the spikes which simply hook together as you push them close.  There are also small holes in one side which the accessories attach to.

Within just a few minutes my little boy had recreated this rather cute bird that he saw on the front of the box.  He was very proud of it and I was amazed he made it so quickly and independently.

Before long I was being shown lots of wonderful creations – they all look fabulous!

I think Bunchems! are great and perfect for a range of ages although I’d say my 6yr old enjoyed them the most.  They are non messy and great to do on a table or tray and can just be stored in a box when play has finished (we found a lidded plastic box perfect).  For a different way to craft, create and have fun, then Bunchems! are a great toy to try out.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Hot Wires Plug & Play Electronics Set

With British Science Week upon us, John Adam’s Hot Wires Plug & Play Electronics Set is the perfect toy to generate interest in electronics and circuits for children.  Miss M age 9 was very excited to try this out as apparently has recently done a similar experiment at school with some wires and a light bulb so she was eager to get started and see what she could create.

The kit contains everything you need to make over 100 experiments along with a full colour instruction booklet that sets out each one clearly.  The connector parts are numbered for ease of use and there are many parts such as lightbulbs, speaker, finger sensor, buzzer, switch, LED lights… the list goes on to the extent that once you get the hang of it you can come up with your own creations.

Miss M didn’t waste any time and was straight in the box, creating before I even got a look in and the next thing I knew, she had an invention ready to show me – it’s that simple!

Miss M and her brother had created some sound effects and thought they were hilarious as I don’t think they were expecting to be able to make multiple sounds from what they saw in the box!  After calming them down, I managed to record this brief clip of the sounds effects in action:

Next up they decided to make a doorbell.  With it having been my birthday the day before they couldn’t believe it when they pressed the finished doorbell, and the tune was that of ‘Happy Birthday’ which none of us were expecting and it was a pleasant surprise.

Overall we absolutely love this Hot Wires set, it’s safe, it’s simple to use and the possibilities are endless.  Miss M can use it independently and create some amazing things that both children enjoy looking at and playing with.  She’s managed to expand some sets with further pieces to change the pitch of the sound that she made.  This really is good to get children thinking, learning and experimenting with electrics in a safe and educational way.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

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Chill Factor Frozen Brain Slushy Maker

Chill Factor are know for their fabulous home slushy cups and have a new edition to the range called the Frozen Brain Slushy Maker.  This has a fun monster style face on the casing with a brain shaped lid, which is appealing to most kids believe it or not!  My daughter was excited when it arrived and couldn’t wait to get the inner cup into the freezer ready to try it out later that day.

The cup comes with easy to pull apart pieces that are all washable.  To start you need to dissemble and put the bottom part in the freezer for at least 4-6 hours although I always find it best to leave it overnight for optimum slushiness the next day.  You also need a chilled drink to make slush so my children always make up a cup of juice and put in the fridge to chill until their slushy cup is ready.

When your drink is chilled and cup is frozen simply piece the cup together, I did find the monster eye a little fiddly initially to fix on, but once you get the hang of it, it’s ok.  Pour your juice inside and begin squeezing.  Within a minute or two you will see that the juice has turned into icy slush.  It’s quite fascinating to watch and has never disappointed my children who adore drinking a slushy drink.

The straw needs to be inserted under the lid upwards and then you can get the spoon end down into the slush which adds to the fun of drinking these.  Excellent for Summer months, these are the perfect cooler drinks for when kids are playing outside.

My daughter absolutely loves slushy drinks and this Frozen Brain Slushy Maker cup will get regular use having had the thumbs up from Miss M!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

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